innocent_lex: (Hmmmm)
The founder of wikileaks, Julian Assange, has been accused of raping two women. He is currently in the UK and fighting extradition to Sweden. He has also pissed off a lot of extremely powerful people with his website.

The thing is, the instant response to these events from a lot of people who I had previously had respect for is this: the rape allegations must be false and have been fabricated by the powerful people in order to discredit Assange.

My response to that? It's entirely possible that the rape allegations are true. It's entirely possible for Assange to be an influential and ground-breaking leader of change for openness and against secrecy. Those two realities can co-exist; they are not mutually exclusive. Many people in history have achieved great things while still behaving unacceptably or even reprehensibly in one way or another - keeping slaves, assaulting women, killing people, and other horrendous activities. Let's not cheer on people who want to stomp all over the experiences of yet more rape victims just because those doing the stomping happen to like the person accused of those crimes. Let's not assume the crimes didn't happen - let's instead assume they did (because the police have enough evidence to make a charge), and let the trial (like trials for other crimes) be about assessing the evidence and understanding whether the accused was the person who committed said crimes. Let's not assume the rape victims are liars. Rape victims have to put up with a hell of a lot of abuse, distrust, violent reprisals and sometimes death for coming forward and saying what happened to them. Let's treat them like human beings.

I don't know if Assange committed these crimes, and it's not up to me to make a judgement. A trial where the evidence the police have gathered is put forward, where the victims can have their say, and where the defendant can state his case is the natural next step, however. If only that were the situation with all the rapes that were committed every year in every country around the world.
innocent_lex: (Default)
1. I don't know why you're worried about having to pay fees for university - you're clearly too stupid to go

2. If you're going to demand that other people pay for your education as an adult, have the decency to show your face while making those demands

3. The police aren't voting on this bill, they're just trying to protect the rest of us from you - don't take your idiocy and temper out on them

4. Did I mention the stupid?

No love,
Me

p.s. Dear non-rioting, peaceful, non-violent students: thank you for demonstrating you have brains and might be worth the money.
innocent_lex: (thinky face)
Gordon Brown has resigned as PM, and HMQ has invited David Cameron to become PM. He's standing outside No. 10 right now making a speech which sounds pretty good, and I sincerely hope he follows through. So that's it, change of government in the space of an hour: Cameron is now in No. 10 in a new job. Still waiting for the confirmation of a coalition with the LibDems, but that's what Cameron has announced he's planning.
innocent_lex: (grumpy)
So, Clegg (LibDem) said it was only fair to give whoever had the most votes and the most seats the opportunity to form the next government if at all possible. He lied. Brown said it was his responsibility as PM to give the Cons and LibDems as much time as they needed to hold discussions - that may indeed be the responsibility of an outgoing PM in the event of a hung parliament, but it's not what he's done. So he lied too. Apparently 'secret' talks have been going on between LibDems and Labour while open talks were going on between Cons and LibDems. Cons apparently didn't know (but it would only take one more group to have a full house of lying politicians).

I can't believe my cynic-o-meter was so utterly defective. I'm usually so much more perceptive than that about politics. When Clegg actually followed his promise I was impressed (instead of my much more frequent suspicious). Turns out the whole talking-with-Conservatives thing was a tactic to get Brown to resign so Labour and LibDems have all obstacles removed and are willing to create a coalition. At this point, I think the only reason we may end up with Cons-LibDem would be because the alternative would be untenable in the eyes of the public, but any possible trust will have vanished anyway.

Congrats, politicians. You've successfully moved from 'we only lie about our expenses' to 'we also lie about anything we think we can get away with' and the whole idea of a fresh start with a boatload of untainted MPs is down the toilet.

At least there were two Labour MPs on the news tonight (or was one an ex-MP? Can't remember) who both pointed out that the idea of Labour trying to sneakily form a government after having lost almost 100 MPs was both horrifying and appallingly short-sighted. People would not readily forgive a party who were given such a strong message by the electorate and ignored it. Of course, these are the same people who completely ignored the million people who marched against the invasion of Iraq, so nothing would surprise me.
innocent_lex: (grumpy)
The two 'negotiating teams' are together in the Cabinet Office again today, discussing how the Conservatives and LibDems can work together to govern the country. What surprised me (and by now I really should be beyond this) was the make-up of the two teams. Each have four people, each do not contain the party leader (unsurprising) and each is comprised of white men. Yep, eight white men are discussing making a deal on how to run the country. We've made enormous progress in this country, it seems. Huge. Massive.

*sigh*
innocent_lex: (grumpy)
For those outside the UK who haven't heard, there's a party in the UK called the BNP, whose leader is Nick Griffin. Everyone has their own views on the BNP, but let's say they talk a lot about keeping Britain 'safe' from immigrants, keeping Britain for its 'indigenous population' (i.e. white), and they're against gay rights, women's rights, and human rights for quite a lot of people.

Nick Griffin was on the BBC's big political and current affairs programme last night. There were protests outside the BBC on the night, various people have spoken up against it during the week leading up to the programme, and there's generally been a lot of outrage about the BBC letting him appear. The thing is, sure, he's clearly a racist, clearly a bigot in many ways, but he's also been elected to parliament by the people of this country. In a democracy, we have elected representatives, and however much the people who didn't vote for them think they're arses, they still have the rights afforded to all elected representatives. I'd rather never hear from Gordon bloody Brown again, but both he and Nick Griffin are MPs and are therefore equally allowed to speak.

Out of all of this, though, is that most of the comments are from people who say that 'people' (read: 'people who aren't me and who aren't very bright') will be influenced to vote for the BNP because of all the publicity the party is getting. Well, okay, that's the way the world works. If these poor, easily led, unknown 'other people' see something in the BNP they like, then the other parties should damn well sort themselves out and make it clear that actually what they have to offer is better. Quit whining about it. If you don't like where our society is going, then bloody well do something about it. Stop poking at the bigot simply because he's an easy target. Yes, he's a bigot. We get it. And what have you done about our massive debt, huge levels of unemployment, problems in the NHS, the wars we're fighting, the way our armed forces are treated, the bigotry ingrained in UK society against women / LGBT people / disabled people, our use of energy, the way we source our food, how we work with other countries, and on and on? We are not a nation of fools; we can see what's wrong with the country.

Great, well done, government, you've had a week where people were whining about the BNP and the Royal Mail and where you were the good guys. But you're not, you've screwed up, so just get on with fixing things. Enough with the misdirection - it's not big and it's not clever.
innocent_lex: (Default)
Man swears he'd done nothing wrong at all. Man resigns to prove it.

Someone's logic is not like our Earth logic.
innocent_lex: (Don't piss me off)
Apparently there are a bunch of crooks in parliament. With all the lies surrounding around the Iraq war, that's not a big surprise to anyone, I'm sure. But expenses? For fuck's sake. MPs get paid a hell of a lot more than the majority of people who live in the UK, and their *one* job is to look out for the people who live in the UK. What the hell do they think they're playing at fiddling the expenses system? I wish I had the energy to be surprised.

What a bunch of utter arseholes.
innocent_lex: (happy)
Excellent stuff. Well done, you! Looks like there have been some fun parties, too.

However, I'm now going to watch DVDs for the next month because the news over here looks like it will be reporting nothing else but All-Obama-All-The-Time. *sigh*
innocent_lex: (Eh?)
BBC News have the full election thing going, with stupid animated maps and graphs, people nobody's ever heard of prattling on just to fill time, cameras in various places in the dark and cold talking to other people nobody's ever heard of, and a timeline for when votes are coming in. Yet I haven't had a polling card, nor notice of a local or general election. It's just... depressing, actually. I have no idea what the BBC and the rest of the UK media have been smoking, but I wish they'd stop.
innocent_lex: (Default)
1) There appear to be quite a lot of people out there saying that women are being feminist if they're voting for Palin. There is no sense of irony included in the statements I've seen.

2) There are still plenty of people calling the US president the 'the leader of the free world'. There is no sense of irony coming from the people saying this.

Out of these two points, I'm not sure which baffles me more. I wonder if simple definitions of 'feminism', 'country', 'world', and 'free' will help these people, but I suspect not.
innocent_lex: (Is he serious?)
Our Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, was interviewed this morning on Radio 4 about the proposed new ID cards. In response to a question about security of people's details, she said (with a level of confidence only present in the wholly ignorant) that the database couldn't be hacked as it wasn't going to be 'online' and that personal details would be secure. Oh dear.

Apparently this new ID card system will now be voluntary. That's good, because anyone who knows more about computer systems and security than Ms Smith (which is surely the whole country) won't want to be a part of it.
innocent_lex: (Default)
I'm trying to decide who I'm going to vote for in the US elections. Well, obviously there's the primaries first, and though I've missed my chance in the first two I'll definitely vote in the next set. Absolutely. Just... stilll not sure who to pick.

...

What do you mean I can't vote? There's nothing else on the news in the UK - I *must* be allowed to vote, or why the hell else would this be reported every bloody minute of the day?
innocent_lex: (not again)
So far government departments have lost data on all children under 18 and parents of those children, all learner drivers for several years, various tax records, health records and a whole load more records. The number of people in this country whose personal and financial data isn't out there in some criminal's database is fast approaching zero.

And this is the government which thinks it's a spiffing plan to put everyone's details on yet more utterly insecure government databases and this time charge us for the privilege of handing our data over to criminals. Fan-bloody-tastic.

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